“…What Does It Take…?”
brad mormino

The flowing hair, the glint in the eye, the easy smile, the voices that pepper his speech…these are the first things you notice about singer/songwriter Brad Mormino. Before too long, you see there’s a lot more to Brad than impossible charm – the guy’s an open book of experience. Eloquent with words, precise with expression, Brad Mormino represents a true artistic spirit, the friend who lives life to its fullest and faithfully returns to tell the tale. One view of the symbol on his acclaimed CD, Love Hurts Anyway, that of a lovely flower with petals alternating with razors, confirms that Brad is a very complex fellow indeed.

Brad Mormino has wandered paths less traveled – and then some. He spent a dozen years as a drummer, gigging throughout the Midwest with a hard rock cover band. He has taken classical voice classes. He has recorded jingles. He has found himself performing in a piano bar, choosing Bocelli over all other options. He absorbs talent as diverse as Sinatra and Zeppelin (thankfully giving the Spice Girls a complete miss). He has written the theme song of a soap opera. Musically speaking, the man is insatiable.

Whereas some artists resort to other forms of expression, Brad Mormino is undeniably attracted to the art of creating sounds from his life, using his credible skill as an arranger and vocalist to translate feelings into notes. There are thirteen cases in point on Love Hurts Anyway. “Been So Long” starts with a comic acoustic guitar before plunging into the driving no-bullshit pulse of the main riveting melody. “True Love” namechecks Cole Porter’s song of the same title, but Brad’s take on the concept is dark and relentless. “Bleed” embraces perceived weakness. “LU2” sharply scores out the results of emotional walls. Listen to the two Italian-sung tracks, “Sanguinare” and “L’amore Vero”, and take in the evocative arrangement and singing style. In this riveting collection, one can hear a frightening array of musical styles Brad absorbed en route to finding his. The end result? It’s what it takes. It’s Brad Mormino.

Through Love Hurts Anyway, Mormino offers an unflinching look at the not only the war between the sexes but the more brutal war within the self. Brad Mormino has produced a stunningly personal work, and like all great personal works, it is accessible to anyone who listens to it. “It’s OK to bleed,” Brad sings in “Bleed”, “it takes guts to be who I am and stand!” Self-doubts linger, self-love is sought. “I’m just being stupid again,” he sings later in the CD. Contradiction? Not on your life.

“It is my hope that my songs become other people’s," says Brad, slyly.

by Vincent Truman

Cruel Intention Production ® 2004